Trinity College Dublin is encouraging students living in college accommodation to return home and offering them a partial refund.
The university has about 1,800 students living on its city centre campus or at its Trinity Hall residence, in Dartry, Dublin.
The move to empty rooms comes amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus, which has hit the Trinity community directly, with two cases reported in the past week.
While Trinity is not closing its student accommodation, it is encouraging all students, whether Irish or international, to go home if it is possible to do so.
They have been advised that anyone who decides to vacate their accommodation permanently for the remainder of the term should write to the Accommodation Office to let them know.
"A pro rata refund will be provided at the end of the academic year," the college stated.
Trinity is the only university to have taken such a decision, with none of the others actively encouraging live-in students to go home, for the moment, at least.
At NUI Galway, a spokesperson said they would continue to act on the advice of public health officials and would review requests for accommodation refunds "when we a have clearer understanding of the implications of this ever changing global health crisis."
The University of Limerick said its residences were open and supported by a team providing security and student services to those who chose to remain on campus. "As such, there is no plan to offer a refund," a spokesperson said.
Dublin City University said its campus accommodation remained open for all resident students.
University College Dublin is keeping accommodation open and is understood to have no plans to offer refunds to students who leave.
Similarly, residences at Maynooth University are remaining open, although students who were planning to go home for study week, which starts on Monday, have been advised to go home and to stay until lectures resume.
International students and others who are unable to leave or do not wish to leave will continue to be accommodated as normal.
University College Cork said all the UCC-run student residences remained open, and management would "closely monitor the ongoing situation and tenancy arrangements as it develops and respond accordingly".
Meanwhile, the annual teacher conferences at Easter have been called off.
The only other time the 152-year-old Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) the oldest of the unions, cancelled its annual congress, was during WWI.
The INTO, along with the Teachers' Union of Ireland and the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland announced the joint decision yesterday.
In a statement, the unions said the conferences, which run in the week after Easter Sunday, were being postponed.
It is difficult to see when they could be rescheduled as they run for three days and make use of the Easter break to assemble union members.
In the current circumstances, there was no alternative to cancelling, as they each attract hundreds of delegates, as well as large numbers of guests.
The INTO, the largest of the unions, typically has about 800 delegates as well as 150 guests.
In the current circumstances, public health officials are advising that indoor gatherings of more than 100 people should not go ahead between now and March 29, and there is widespread acceptance that date will be pushed out to Easter, if not beyond.
"At all times, the health and safety of our members, our students and the general public is of paramount importance," the unions stated.